A Phenomenological Perspective on Researching Work and Learning

  • Gloria Dall’AlbaEmail author
  • Jörgen Sandberg
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


Conventional research approaches typically conceptualise learning within and for work in terms of two separate entities: subject and object. More specifically, the individual subject who is learning is considered to be independent of the work to be learned. In contrast, practice-based approaches commonly emphasise the relation, rather than separateness, of subject and work. In this chapter, we engage with phenomenology in extending previous accounts of learning within and for work by bringing to the fore the manner in which practice is constituted through the entwinement of life with world.

We elaborate a lifeworld perspective on researching work-related learning, which challenges the ontological assumption of a subject-object constellation in significant ways. This challenge is pertinent whether subject and object are seen as independent of each other (as in conventional approaches) or as becoming related during performance of work (in several practice-based approaches). We explore how entwinement with world makes learning possible, while pointing to ways in which a lifeworld perspective affords novel resources for informing and enhancing research on learning within and for work.


Lifeworld Phenomenology Entwinement Work-related learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of BusinessThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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